4

Who Was at the Midnight Showing of Rock of Ages?

^
Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

"I hate Tom Cruise, but I'll still see it for the music." - My 49-year-old mother when discussing a Rock of Ages commercial.

If that wasn't enough to make me interested in seeing the movie musical-cum-Broadway take on the late '80s Sunset Strip, then the thought of discovering who exactly would attend a midnight opening of said movie was more than enough.

The answer to that question? Less than 20 people. I arrived to the showing early in hopes of talking to some Rock of Ages super fans, and the few who were there were more than kind enough. A couple in their thirties was taking in the film because they thought there would be fewer kids at this showing, and they really wanted to hear the music from that time. The guy said his favorite band was Motley Crüe.

There is a father with his two sons, who like midnight movies and also talked about how awesome Motley Crüe is. Two young ladies in their early twenties are here because the movie "looks entertaining," and they "had no plans." I remember being 21 and I don't think I ever thought to myself, "There's nothing to do, let's go to a midnight showing of a musical!"

We get the usual plot line: The pre-fab love story where a small-town girl lives in a lonely world, catches a bus to L.A., and is welcomed to the jungle by a black hole of charisma with good hair. These crazy kids fall in love, out of love and back in, all set to power ballads that were made by men who wore pants two sizes two small and who tried to snort up Pablo Escobar's entire supply.

Tom Cruise is of course the big get, and plays "superstar" Stacy Jaxx with the same reckless abandon that garnered him critical praise in Magnolia and Tropic Thunder. In fact, Cruise's Jaxx feels like the perfect amalgamation of those two roles, except this time around he has a gun-toting monkey named Hey Man instead of Bill Hader as a sidekick. Catherine Zeta-Jones, who was so fantastic in Chicago, feels underutilized as a Tipper Gore stand-in. Bryan Cranston shows up as Zeta-Jones' mayor husband but goes campy with the role and spends most of the time tied up with rosaries and getting spanked. Poor Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand sing a bit but mostly seem like they did the film because of alimony payments. I'm still not sure why Mary J. Blige was in this, and I cringed every time Paul Giamatti showed up. That man should be past these types of roles.

Should you see Rock of Ages? Well, if you're like the two Dallas PD officers I saw standing in the corner singing along to Jefferson Starship, the answer is a resounding yes. If you are going solely to see the camp, just make sure you do as I did and fill your flask all the way to the top.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.